Friday, December 30, 2011

IF: Highlight

Male Model, Society of Illustrators, NYC - 2008 by Paul Zdepski
Male Model in Watercolor, Society of Illustrators Figure Night, MFA NYC Session 2008

During the new year's season, many important oaths are made, promises promised and resolutions sworn... then broken. I have a print out of "Three Things to Quit", as presented by Professor Ron Mazellan of Indiana Wesleyan University during the 2009 commencement of the Masters in Illustration graduation of the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford, CT. Ron's words have been the highlight of my entire MFA experience. Sure, I've met illustration heroes, held masterpieces in my hands and been in critiques that set me on my heels. Ron's humble speech to his fellow classmates taught me more about myself and got me looking inside at my motivations; what drives me.

I pass this along with his permission. I ask that you print it out, and place it somewhere in your studio. I have my print-out in my studio bathroom, to the left of the mirror, where I read it when brushing my teeth, rinse brushes and wash my dog. It has to be reinforced to become a personal credo.

Three Things to Quit by Professor Ron Mazellan, July 2009

Quit comparing yourself to others.

  1. Dwelling on what others have and what you lack is a waste of time and energy.

  2. Be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else. There is no one like you!

  3. Stop dwelling on your short-comings. Everybody comes up short somewhere.

Quit complaining

  1. Quit complaining about the weather, your height, your weight, your hair, etc. It drains you, paralyzes you, and fosters a defeatist mindset before you begin.

  2. Complaining creates a false paradigm for life. We convinces ourselves to believe that complaining will make living a more pleasant experience.

  3. Complaining delays action. We delay and wait too long to begin, waiting for conditions to be perfect.

  4. Complaining is contagious and it causes others to lose heart.

Quit concluding

  1. Concluding stops dreams before they have the opportunity to begin.

  2. Concluding waits for opportunities and when they come, many refuse to act.

  3. Concluding creates a paradigm of fear; the pursuit of anything I attempt will end in failure, so why begin?

  4. Most people don't begin because they lack imagination of what is possible.

You can view Ron's work and follow him on Twitter:

Friday, December 23, 2011

IF: Messenger

Bear and Squirrel - NO ROOM HERE! by Paul Zdepski


The message is clear - "You Can't Sleep Here!"

Grizzly Bear is looking for a place to hibernate, and Squirrel's log house is looking pretty tempting. Squirrel has been having lots of problems, since moving to the forest floor. This is part of a story I'm developing. Drawing is done in my Strathmore sketchbook, then cleaned up in my Wacom Cintiq via Photoshop.

Friday, December 16, 2011

IF: Sink

Zdepski's watercolor painting Flawed Flotation
Sinking or Flawed Flotation

Bummer time at Summer Camp, good think the life-jacket is tied on tightly.

Winsor & Newton watercolor on Fabriano.
copping out today. have too much going on - rehashing a previous piece from 2009. click it to enlarge.

Friday, December 9, 2011

IF: Separated

zdepski's illustration, Cowboy minus Cow
Cowboy Minus Cow Equals Boy

Higher Mathematics... This is a comp variation of my banner illustration "Cow Plus Boy" in yesterday's blog post. It works nicely for Illustration Friday's word of the day. I'm drawing these in my sketchbook and coloring them in Photoshop.

Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cow Plus Boy

zdepski's banner illustration, Cow Plus Boy Equals Cowboy
Cow Plus Boy Equals Cowboy
I'm invited to submit some banner illustrations for the local downtown's walking mall. It's a nice venue and the banners are hung from ornamental lampposts along the wide brick promenade. I had a couple banners get in two years ago; Elephant Tune and the Ames Piano Quartet CD cover art from 2005.
This year I'm entering the Duck King, Vespa and the above piece named, Cow Plus Boy. I'm trying to create a retro-Elementary Textbook feel, and I think it's got that vibe. I like to create things for public spaces that may make the kids stop and try to figure it out.
This piece was drawn in my sketchbook, then ported into Photoshop at 720 dpi and then cleaned up and colored in various layers with my Wacom Intuos3 tablet. The final output will be 25x29 inches, so it should be fun to see it printed large.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Zeppelin Raid

Zeppelin Raid by paul zdepski
Zeppelin Raid
This is a digital piece derived from a trip to the Shenandoah Caverns with my son's grade school class on Monday. We went down a few hundred feet below the ground and viewed a bunch of cavern rooms carved by earthquake and water. They had some wonderful formations that got me clicking the camera for photo reference. I took one of the photos and created a scene. Notice the tiered landscape created by the dripping mineral-rich water over eons of time. I thought of rice paddies on the hillside. CLICK!
Cave Formation photo by paul zdepski
Zeppelin Raid
This piece is of a futuristic Zeppelin raid over a less developed country. It's done in Adobe Photoshop with the Wacom Intuos3 and Cintiq. Click on the picture to enlarge to 1200px wide.